Monday, 21 September 2009

A Big One

So, here it is, the last two sessions in one. This last weekend was an all dayer, and a lot got done.

03:30 – 03:50 The group of heroes and villains plough through a massed battle that rages in the hangar, leaving a wake of death behind them.

03:50 – The group battle their way onto their ships, and an alliance is forged; the Void Wolves will escort the Wanderer and Jack-Of-Swords to Dal'Shen by way of payment for the freedom of Fangyrd, the Void Wolf Lord. Also, Void Wolf pirates will fill out the crews on the two ships, ensuring they can be operated at full power.

04:00 – Crew mates and space pirates fight to keep the decks free of attackers whilst the ships are prepped for exit.

04:05 – The ships pull free of the docks and fly free of the Neogi ship...

04:10 – With the massive bulk of the Neogi ship shrinking behind them (from space, the mad swarm of battling vessels is clear to see, as are the fires that are clearly raging in many parts of that colossal vessel), the group think they are free.

But...

Three crimson Gorgoth Uggs hove into view; vile things of overlapping metal, spikes of rusted steel, flying ragged standards daubed with foul symbols, and draped in severed heads and bones.

From the standard, it is realised that they are Gorgoth of the Gore Tusk Tribe; a deadly clan of spacefaring Gorgoth native to the Segmentum Mortalis.

04:12 – 04:30 – A huge space battle ensues. Halfway through, our heroes board one of the Gorgoth vessels (nearly getting themselves killed when The Wanderer – unaware of their allies presence there open fire on it and scores a good hit), and find themselves battling a Gore Tusk Ugg Boss; a hulking beast of a greenskin that wields a cleaver made from some alien metal which suppresses hope and healing.

Cannon fire ravages all the ships, and although the Wanderer and Jack-of-Swords are ultimately successful, the latter vessel takes some severe blows from the Gorgoth Boomer Cannons.

7/12/49 – 9/12/49

The two ships, under the protective watch of several Void Wolf vessels, arrives at Dal'Shen.

11:45 - The group, glad of a long rest after their harrowing day on the 6th, activate the teleport circle once the ships are ready to dock in the legendary space port, and return to the apporters guild in Lorehaven (Gyllithed chooses to stay with the ships crew)...

LOREHAVEN – Continual Blizzards

Enduring the hardest winter in memory. Misery and fear clouds the festive atmosphere, as do a whole host of terrifying rumours and real life tales of misery.

13:30 – Group return to Ormids home (this is an epic task through the snow bound, blizzard wreathed streets of the city), and after getting it dug out the snow, warmed up and dried out, make plans about what to do next.

Decide that Ormid will use the university library to research the eastern guild and the clues in his notebook.

Go over the ancient story of the great Guild War, including the early exit of the Eastern Guild, the incredible mechanism it activated to hide it from its enemies, and the final conflict between the Southern and Northern guilds.

All have a well deserved rest.

The next morning, Brundorson is gone, a roughly scribbled note explaining that he feels he has somehow offended his ancestors and gods, and has left to atone for whatever crime has seen his blows land so rarely.

10/12/49 – Continual Blizzards

06:30 – Ormid, Llewellyn and Warforged head out to the university

08:00 – 19:30 – Ormid uses the library, and the help of a local scholar to research the Eastern Guild; the legends, locations and possible facts. Ormid also learns that he is to be asked to be a professor at the university when he can be, due to his growing fame (and the apparent dropping of all murder charges by House Shakem)

Whilst Ormid is busy (under the watchful eye of the Warforged), Llewellyn wanders around the campus, noting that inside all is warmth and festive decorations, but that the bleak mood and fear about the unnatural weather has infected the townsfolk with an unshakable despondency.

Llewellyn bumps into a member of the North Ward Procurer's Guild. He learns that his bounty has now gone up to 750 gold, and that he is being hunted.

21:30 – Group return home after a painful, freezing slog through the snowbound streets.

22:00 – A knock at the door...

Outside stands a powerful looking young man; human with short, centre parted black hair. He has a fairly short but powerful build, and is wrapped in a snow encrusted cloak of black and gold, edged in what at first appears to be some kind of fur or feathering, but is quickly recognised as metal filaments. He has pale blue eyes, and although he does not appear to wear armour, he radiates the quiet aura of man wrapped in awesome protections.

A huge warhammer is strapped across his back; thrumming with power and struck with golden runes that spell (in archaic midlandic common) “Dismantler”.

He gives a strained smile, and bow, before speaking in a cultured mercantile accent and introducing himself as Lord Edward Smith; Knight of the Esoteric Lodge of Hunters. He informs the group that he has some very important information for them, and asks to be allowed to enter to share it.

After some deliberation the group allow him in

Edward is polite and respectful, even when faced with the most horrific provocation. However, he radiates a palpable aura of menace; a coiled readiness to spring into violent and terrible action at a moments notice, and the group realise that he is a very dangerous man to be annoying.

Edward informs the group that his order has been monitoring Ormid as much as possible since he first returned to Lorehaven with the Veteran. He will explain that the order is dedicated to stopping another guild war, and is determined to ensure that all technologies born of that epic conflict are left to rot in their ancient vaults and silent hangars. He then tells them that they have noticed the direction that Ormid's research has been taking lately, and he bluntly tells them to back off, and give up all efforts to find the Eastern Guilds remains. He does not say directly, but he make it clear that if the artificer continues to pursue his current studies that the Esoteric Hunters will take steps to stop him – fatal steps.

Edward is told to leave in no uncertain terms by the group. He congratulates the group on their recent successes in space, and leaves.


11/12/49 – 14/12/49 - LOREHAVEN – Continuing Blizzard

The research continues. And although it sheds some light on where the Eastern Guild could be located, Ormid feels that more information could be found in the trade town of Garras'Knar, almost 1,500 miles to the east, on the borders of the north republic, Lac'Loriel and the Dundorin Holds of the northern Streaked Mountains.

15/12/49 – LOREHAVEN – Blizzards continue

08:00 - Group leave for Garras'Knar after slogging once more through the streets of Lorehaven.

GARRAS'KNAR – Heavy snow, strong winds, some clear periods which lead to sub-sero temperatures.

08:45 – Group take rooms at the “Broken Door”; an adventurer's inn.

10:00 – Ormid gains access to the library within the Merchant's Hall of the Trade Quarter of Garras'Knar, and begins his first days' study...

23:45 – Ormid has returned by this point, and everyone has gone to bed apart from Llewellyn, who has been gambling and losing coin in the inns taproom.

As the sleepy Vyrleen heads to his room, he hears a commotion outside whilst passing a landing window. Initially he thinks nothing of it – until he hears a rough northern voice raised in anger shout “Destroy the Veteran”.

Looking out the window into a blind alley that runs along the inns back wall, the Vyrleen spots two figures with their backs against the wall, being slowly stalked by four men bearing the uniform of Esoteric Hunters, accompanied by an artifice mastiff.

23:47 – As a battle breaks out in the alley, Llewellyn rouses his allies and gets them to charge down

23:50 – The group charge out into the night, and come upon the battle. One of the Esoteric Hunters is dead, his heads cracked open by the flickering hammer of one of the pair; a Dundorin battle priestess, garbed in the armour and mantle of Thorduin; Dundorin God of Battle.

Behind her, a robed and hooded figure works deadly magic – and all are shocked when they see the face under the hood, for it is the face of a warforged!

23:50 – There is little time to gawp, for the battle goes into full deadly swing. One of the hunters is an artificer, who uses his skills to blast the group and augment his allies, whilst the others are soldiers (clad in armour made from slain golems).

This battle is over fairly quickly, though the group take several good hits. The artifice mastiff is deactivated, and Veteran asks that Ormid keep it with a view to the group using it as an ally at a later date (after some work to reanimate it and re-programme it)

The adventurer's are the Dundorin battle priestess Ardwaine Drunhald, and the Mongrel Aelwyn wizard Sadran Volsh. The mage was mistaken for a warforged as his familiar is a living construct mask, which gives him the appearance of one of Veteran's own kind

The two adventurer's join the party

The warforged finds himself feeling rather introspective with the appearance of so much artifice and magic related to his own origins

16/12/49 – Heavy Snow

The next morning a message has been left for the warforged; dropped off by “a shambling, hooded man who smelt like a tramp”.

It's from Ebon Eye, and reads;

“Brother. You have already seen how much the flesh machines fear us, and have seen the depth of their contempt for us. I know you have imprinted on that human in some way, and that at present you feel he and his soft bodied allies are special to you. However you must trust me when I tell you that if you were not of use to them as a weapon, they would cast you aside with nary a second thought. You should not be their slave. You are a Veteran. You are the Veteran. There is much I could tell you if only you would listen. Seek me out my brother, at the site of the Battle where master Zerrakiel slew his traitorous half-brother. Seek me out, and join the awakened fellowship.”

The group decide to ignore this letter (though Sadran identifies the area – a dank swamp to the north of the Pit of Fallen Gods – mentioned in the letter), and Ormid continues with his research.

17/12/49 -Clear at first, then more heavy snow

Llewellyn accompanied by the Dundorin and wizard try to locate the one who brought the note to the Broken Door. They learn that they were seen heading to a mercenary inn called the “Band of Brothers”

In the inn, Llewellyn finds out that a fractured sewer pipe at the back of the property may be where the individual came from.

The Vyrleen and companions check the pipe out, and find it stinking and steaming as described. However, they wisely decide not to enter the stewing deeps without Ormid and the warforged, and return to their inn.

Ormid continues to work on his research and eventually learns that the Eastern Guild was probably located to the south east of this very place, though this would now be in an area known as the Gly'Tokth Vale – a place of tainted radiations, mutation and madness.

Realising that overland this would not be reachable until the snows recede, Ormid has located a possible alternative course; ancient Dundorin tunnels that connected a line of forts in the early 2nd Age that were built to keep watch on the horrors Thrashaz was sending out from Lac'Loriel.

Unfortunately, the best place to possibly access these tunnels is through the Thruk'Dun – the settlements prison.

A number of ideas about how to get into the prison to access its basement are thrown about; some sane others a little less so. In the end, the group decide to try and arrange to meet with the Lir'Aelwyn Saede'Thaeryn; the prisons' warden.

A request is sent to the prison, and accepted. They meet the next morning.

18/12/49 – Heavy Snows; growing colder

08:00 – Guards from the prison arrive to escort the group to meet with Saede'

08:20 – The group are introduced to the warden who like all of her alien race, is coldly beautiful, with long silver hair, pale green luminous eyes and skin like moon-touched marble. She moves with ghostly grace, and speaks with a hypnotic, musical voice.

08:20 – 09:00 Negotiations go relatively well (Llewellyn helps a lot by grassing up a number of local criminal activities he has spotted whilst in the settlement) and although the Aelwyn does not grant immediate access to the prison's basements, she agrees to do so if the group hunt down Altair “three mouths”; a mongrel Gorgoth who is wanted for several crimes, but who the local guards fear to approach.

The group accept and are given letters or marque for the task

09:40 – Group arrive at the “Shattered Banner” and spot their mark; one of the ugliest Gorgoth half-breeds they have ever met, resplendent in bear hide armour, and clearly showing the two scars around his almost non existent neck which give him his moniker.

Aware that they need to take Altair alive, they try negotiations, but violence erupts and a brutal fight ensues.

Despite his massive strength (which he uses to hurl party members into each other), the group prevail and bring the brute down.

10:15 – The group have returned Altair to the prison and collected the 750gp reward on his head. They are told that guards will collect them early the next morning and escort them to the prison, where they will be allowed into its basements

19/12/49 – Blizzards

06:00 – Two guards arrive to escort the party to the prison. They both seem on edge, and the groups' suspicions only increase when they talk about an “alternate route”, through some warehouse.

The group intimidate them, and they reveal that they are to lead the party into an ambush set by the Esoteric Hunters (and lead by their local captain; Franz Kaupfman).

They also explain that the hunters have two of the guards allies held as hostages, and have threatened to kill them unless they bring the party into the ambush. The group gleefully decide to meet with the hunters and to “speak” with them.

And so, in the basement of a warehouse, the group enter a vicious battle.

A long stairwell runs down into a dank cellar, filled with great stacks of crates. Franz (a furious looking blonde haired man dressed in spendid Golem Plate armour, and wielding a flaming waraxe and enchanted pistol, which he augments using his artificer skills) has a number of soldiers in the place. The two guards they took “hostage” are nowhere to be seen, and when the group arrive, Franz, who is standing in the middle of the chamber with a Shield Guardian towering protectively above him, greets the group cheerily as they enter, before becoming suddenly serious and whispering “Execute them”

Backed up by the two guards the group are faced by an awesome array of foes, though they work well to minimise the impact they can have. An eighth ally enters the battle suddenly after a few blows have been struck, and all are shocked to see a genuine warforged – smaller and more sleek than Veteran – enter the fray and lay about opponents with fist and foot.

The fight drains all the parties resources, and ends with several hunters slinking off to seek safety, and Franz detonating a pack of alchemically enhanced black powder he has beneath his breastplate – a final, suicidal attempt to stop the group.

* * *

And that's where we left it. All the guys have just hit Paragon level with that fight, which should bring an interesting upswing in their powers and progress. And now, for your delectation, here are the stats for poor doomed Franz. Enjoy


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